A LONG-AWAITED DNA database of criminals will be up and running next year.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the resource will revolutionise the detection and prevention of rape and sexual assault.
A bill to establish the database is now complete and will be presented at the first Cabinet meeting following the summer recess in September.
Mr Shatter said the database would hold a DNA profile of everyone convicted of a crime which attracts a sentence greater than five years. Gardai will also be able to access databases in other EU countries and the United States and share information contained in the Irish system.
Once operational, gardai will be able to match crime scene samples with profiles already on the database.